Home » Kenya-based entrepreneur Daniel Yu’s Wasoko raises $125 million at $625-million valuation

Kenya-based entrepreneur Daniel Yu’s Wasoko raises $125 million at $625-million valuation

by Omokolade Ajayi

Sokowatch now Wasoko, a Kenyan B2B retail and e-commerce startup run by Nairobi-based digital entrepreneur Daniel Yu, has secured a total of $125 million in a Series-B equity round, bringing its valuation to more than $625 million.

Tiger Global, the world’s largest venture capital company, and Avenir Growth Capital, a New York-based private investment firm focused on growth equity prospects, co-led the recently concluded Series-B equity round.

Other institutional investors that participated in the $125-million fundraise include VNV Global, Flipkart Co-Founder Binny Bansal and Udaan Co-Founder Sujeet Kumar. Quona Capital, 4DX Ventures, and JAM Fund are among the existing investors who participated in the round.

The company’s recent rebranding from Sokowatch to Wasoko, along with a $125-million capital injection from investors, will allow it to drive further geographic expansion and product growth across the continent, according to the management.

In keeping with its development ambitions, the company is looking to expand into Nigeria and Southern Africa, while maintaining its market-leading position in its present six countries.

In response to the $125-million fundraising, Yu, CEO, and founder of Wasoko, said the company is focused on using its strategic backing to forge one of the world’s largest e-commerce enterprises and revolutionize access to products and services for African residents throughout the continent.

Since Yu founded Wasoko in 2015 as an e-commerce marketplace for distributing fast-moving consumer goods from suppliers to retailers, it has expanded its operations beyond Kenya and delivered 2.5 million orders to more than 50,000 informal retailers across East and West Africa.

In the last year, the firm’s well-executed expansion strategy has seen its sales increase by more than 500 percent, as it prepares to break into additional market categories on the continent in accordance with its expansion objectives.

Wasoko is looking at ways to diversify its product portfolio, including merchant point-of-sale systems, bill payments, and social commerce, both organically and through strategic investment and acquisition.

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